Paleo erosion rates and climate shifts recorded by Quaternary cut-and-fill sequences in the Pisco valley, central Peru

Bekaddour, Toufik; Schlunegger, Fritz; Vogel, Hendrik; Delunel, Romain; Norton, Kevin; Akçar, Naki; Kubik, Peter (2014). Paleo erosion rates and climate shifts recorded by Quaternary cut-and-fill sequences in the Pisco valley, central Peru. Earth and planetary science letters, 390, pp. 103-115. Elsevier 10.1016/j.epsl.2013.12.048

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Fluvial cut-and-fill sequences have frequently been reported from various sites on Earth. Nevertheless, the information about the past erosional regime and hydrological conditions have not yet been adequately deciphered from these archives. The Quaternary terrace sequences in the Pisco valley, located at ca. 13°S, offer a manifestation of an orbitally-driven cyclicity in terrace construction where phases of sediment accumulation have been related to the Minchin (48–36 ka) and Tauca (26–15 ka) lake level highstands on the Altiplano. Here, we present a 10Be-based sediment budget for the cut-and-fill terrace sequences in this valley to quantify the orbitally forced changes in precipitation and erosion. We find that the Minchin period was characterized by an erosional pulse along the Pacific coast where denudation rates reached values as high as 600±80 mm/ka600±80 mm/ka for a relatively short time span lasting a few thousands of years. This contrasts to the younger pluvial periods and the modern situation when 10Be-based sediment budgets register nearly zero erosion at the Pacific coast. We relate these contrasts to different erosional conditions between the modern and the Minchin time. First, the sediment budget infers a precipitation pattern that matches with the modern climate ca. 1000 km farther north, where highly erratic and extreme El Niño-related precipitation results in fast erosion and flooding along the coast. Second, the formation of a thick terrace sequence requires sufficient material on catchment hillslopes to be stripped off by erosion. This was most likely the case immediately before the start of the Minchin period, because this erosional epoch was preceded by a >50 ka-long time span with poorly erosive climate conditions, allowing for sufficient regolith to build up on the hillslopes. Finally, this study suggests a strong control of orbitally and ice sheet forced latitudinal shifts of the ITCZ on the erosional gradients and sediment production on the western escarpment of the Peruvian Andes at 13° during the Minchin period.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geological Sciences
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geological Sciences > Quaternary Geology

UniBE Contributor:

Bekaddour, Toufik; Schlunegger, Fritz; Vogel, Hendrik; Delunel, Romain; Norton, Kevin and Akçar, Naki

Subjects:

500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology

ISSN:

0012-821X

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Hendrik Vogel

Date Deposited:

08 Aug 2014 15:59

Last Modified:

11 Jul 2016 13:41

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.epsl.2013.12.048

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.45268

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/45268

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